Effective Move to Counter the Threat of Terrorism

  • 24 August 2015

The despicable and criminal acts of terrorism do not spare anyone as has been proved in the attacks that were carried out in several places on Saturday. In Somalia, Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that targeted a Somali military training camp in southern port city of Kismayo in which dozens were killed and wounded. In Thailand, series of bombings struck southern part of the country just a few days after the bombing that hit the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok and killed 20 people. In Afghanistan, a suicide bomb targeted a NATO convoy, killing 12 people.

A number of Arab countries have also witnessed terrorist attacks in the last few days including in Egypt and Libya. In Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, terror cells have been uncovered and plots to destabilize these countries have been thwarted. The rising frequency and scale of terrorist operations shows that it has become a major threat to security and stability of the region and the whole world. This situation necessitates an immediate and effective move to strongly confront these groups that threaten peaceful coexistence among people belonging to different cultures, religions and civilizations.

Extremist groups have significantly proliferated in the Middle East in recent times and their modus operandi is quite diverse. They threaten the stability of nations and societies by resorting to violence. They adopt hardline approach toward the other and strive to drag the region back. They raise religious slogans that harm religion itself and distort its image around the world. They exploit volatile situations in some countries to gain followers and resources and fan sectarian divide. They commit the most horrendous crimes against civilians and target state institutions, especially military and security ones, as they neither believe in homeland nor belong to them. Instead, they raise fictional slogans that recognize no national boundaries.

The world today, more than ever, needs to take a serious note of extremism and terrorism. These attacks should be a matter of concern to regional and international peace and security. The UAE warned a long time ago that these fanatics do not stop at the borders of a particular country but seek to impose their evil designs by taking up arms even if this turns the region into river of blood and leads it to civil and sectarian strife. The UAE has been quick to take steps to address this scourge. It has been at the forefront supporting efforts to counter terrorism. It strongly believes that no single country can tackle this threat on its own whatever its capabilities.

The UAE has remained an oasis of security and stability thanks to its balanced vision to counter the threat of extremism and terrorism. Through its initiatives, the country has contributed towards enhancing the regional and international efforts against terror. Perhaps, its most notable initiative has been the launch of Sawab Center in July in collaboration with the United States to counter Da’esh’s online propaganda and other extremist groups. It also established the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism Hedaya, which was inaugurated in December 2012. Hedaya aims to find a common ground for dialog and coordination with local institutions and regional and international organizations to counter violent extremism.